A ribbon cutting ceremony officially opened the new West Fraser Centre in Quesnel on Sunday afternoon.
Mayor Bob Simpson and Jerry Bruce, the CRD Director for Area B, addressed a large crowd eager to see what was inside…
“As I look around here I really see the reason we’re here today I see the MLA and previous Mayors and volunteers that have been here a long time. And I want to publicly, on behalf of our Regional District and our City, say thank you to you.”
Bruce went on to acknowledge the collaboration between the City and the CRD to make this project happen as well.
Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson also addressed the crowd and recognized the local contractors that worked on this project…
“Over 50 percent of the funding for this project went into our local economy with local contractors. And that was a big part of what we were trying to achieve out of the 20.6 million dollar investment.”
The traditional territory of the Lhtako Dene First Nation was also acknowledged and an elder named Ellie Peters delivered an opening prayer and blessed the building.
The new arena was a long time coming as the dream, originally for a Multi Centre, began more than a decade ago.
The idea passed in a referendum in 2008, but unfortunately the four year timeline to come up with the money came and went.
Voters then chose not to give it two more years in a failed referendum in November of 2013, which led to another successful vote in June of 2014, this time for an arena replacement project.
Today’s opening ceremony was followed by a hockey game last night that featured the Vancouver Canuck alumni team against a local group.
This wasn’t the first event in the new area however as 54-40 put on a concert in front of a sell-out crowd of more than 17-hundred people on Saturday night.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held outside the new facility.
Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson acknowledged everyone that worked on the project, from the current politicians including Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes and former Mayor Mary Sjostrom but also former City Councillors and CRD Directors and those who worked on all of the numerous committees.
Simpson also recognized the local contractors that worked on this project…
A large crowd took in the grand opening and they patiently waited for the opportunity to tour the new facility afterwards.
The first hockey game, featuring a battle between local players and the Vancouver Canuck alumni, was played last night and drew a crowd of more than 13 hundred people.
And prior to all of this, a concert by Canadian Rock band 54-40, attracted more than 17-hundred people on Saturday night.